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College Basketball Handicapping: Duke the latest to jump on zone bandwagon

01.19.2015     08:16 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
We've seen a lot of historically strong man-to-man teams switch to a zone defense this season. Ohio State played it almost exclusively during non-conference play. Purdue has toyed with it at times. And after allowing 177 points in back-to-back games, Coach K decided to test the waters and went on the road and held Louisville to 52 points. And why not? A vast majority of college basketball teams are limited in some way offensively. Louisville for example can't shoot for the outside. So rather than trying to chase them around and keep them from driving to the hoop, you simply pack in a 2-3 zone and let them fire away. Zone, as we know, can have a significant impact on the pace of games. Louisville and Duke both like to play up-tempo but the Blue Devils went zone and the end result was 120 possessions; 28 possessions fewer than Duke's previous game vs. Miami. The question now becomes, is this something bettors can expect moving forward? Tonight's opponent, Pittsburgh, can't shoot either (42.3% eFG, 26% 3-point vs. ACC). Coach K doesn't WANT to play Read more

Tags: College Basketball Duke Blue Devils Ohio State Buckeyes Purdue Boilermakers

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Providence Friars at Creighton Blue Jays

01.17.2015     09:10 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Providence at Creighton -2 O/U 132
Recommendation: Under

Providence head coach Ed Cooley has always preached defense first and when the Friars are at their best, the stop unit grades out as above average. But the problem has been consistency: guard well for two games and then lay an egg. Earlier this season, Providence allowed 75 to Marquette and bounced back with back-to-back strong defensive showings against Butler and Georgetown. Last time out, the Friars allowed 83 to St. John's, including 10-of-17 from 3-point land. I would expect a far better showing against Creighton who through five Big East games has really struggled to score (0.96 ppp). The Blue Jays (0-5 vs. Big East) have had some game efforts of late with one-point losses to Seton Hall and Marquette. Considering what they lost from last year's team and the competitiveness of the Big East, it's not shocking to see them struggle. Their league games have all been fairly slow in terms of pace including the first meeting vs. Providence in which the Friars won 65-53 (63 possessions). Should be a competitive game which leaves the door open for a late second half lull. With the total currently Read more

Tags: College Basketball Providence Friars Creighton Blue Jays Andrew Lange

College Basketball Handicapping: Quick hitters on Saturday's games

01.16.2015     08:48 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Here are some quick hitters on this weekend's marquee college basketball matchups.

Utah at Arizona - After a home friendly schedule to start PAC-12 play, the Utes took care of business last night at Arizona State (76-59). Arizona rolled over an injury-riddled Colorado squad. The total for this one should come out somewhere in the mid-120's. It'll feature two of the top 10 defensive teams in the country in terms of efficiency. In the three other instances where they has happened this season we saw very limited scoring: Kentucky vs. Louisville (108 points), San Diego State vs. Utah (102 points), and Arizona vs. San Diego State (120 points).

Kansas at Iowa State - Would expect a lot of pace and scoring in this matchup based on last year's three meetings. The Jayhawks won both regular season meetings but the Cyclones got revenge in the Big XII Tournament. Those three contests averaged 152 possessions and 165 points. Oddsmakers have been adjusting high totals toward the under so expect this one to open around 146-147.

Ohio State at Iowa - The Hawkeyes finally got their offense going with 77 points last time Read more

Tags: College Basketball Andrew Lange

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Oregon State Beavers at Washington Huskies

01.15.2015     10:17 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Oregon State at Washington -7 O/U 123.5
Recommendation: Washington

The betting markets are starting to view this year’s Washington team much like the disappointing Huskies teams from recent years.  After back-2-back subpar campaigns – last year’s team won only 17 games and didn’t get invited to a postseason tournament following their first round exit from the PAC-12 tourney – this year’s team spent the first two months of the season as an undervalued commodity.

Washington opened the season 11-0, including a pair of outright upset wins as underdogs against quality Top 25 foes Oklahoma and San Diego State and five solid wins away from home.  Their roster, which didn’t look all that impressive to pundits heading into the campaign, has shown significant development.  The Huskies have a point guard who can play in half court sets in Nigel Williams-Goss, who leads the PAC-12 with 100 assists in 15 games.  And they’ve got interior defense for the first time in recent memory thanks to seven footer Robert Upshaw and his 61 blocks this year.

The Huskies 11 game winning Read more

Tags: College Basketball Oregon State Beavers Washington Huskies PAC-12 Teddy Covers

College Basketball Gambling: Colorado's Scott and Johnson questionable vs. Arizona

01.15.2015     08:00 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Colorado may not have two key starters for tonight's game at Arizona. Xavier Johnson (ankle) and Josh Scott (back) are currently listed as questionable. Scott is one of the most efficient offensive players in the country (134.4 offensive rating) and Johnson is the team's top three-point shooter at 41%. The Buffs have averaged only 51.8 ppg vs. top 100 teams and the Wildcats currently rank 7th in defensive efficiency.

"The one thing you learn in college athletics, and it's one of the things I've tried to get our team to understand, is that you've got to control the things you can control," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "That's what we concentrate on. We don't make excuses for who's playing and who's not playing. I think they're capable players. Sometimes people get thrown into situations, and we may have that this weekend."

Tags: College Basketball Colorado Buffaloes Arizona Wildcats

College Basketball Gambling Update: UCLA rips off three wins and covers in a row

01.15.2015     06:34 AM     Printer Friendly

Well, looky here. UCLA is actually playing some halfway decent basketball. We spoke a week ago about the Bruins' murderous schedule that featured a handful of top notch defenses. But when the venue and level of competition changed so, too, did UCLA. Does that mean this team is a PAC-12 contender? Probably not. But their play over the last week has them looking like one of many good, but not great, PAC-12 teams.

College Basketball Handicapping: What to do with UCLA moving forward

01.05.2015     02:09 PM     View Original Blog

So if you haven't already noticed, Read more

Tags: College Basketball UCLA Bruins PAC-12

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Houston Cougars at East Carolina Pirates

01.14.2015     07:33 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
Houston +3 at East Carolina O/U 131.5
Recommendation: Houston

Despite similar straight up records (Houston 7-8, East Carolina 7-9), I feel there is enough difference here to suggest the underdog should win this game outright. For Houston, the past four games have seen them face a conference grinder featuring AAC contender Tulsa, Memphis (twice) and rapidly improving Central Florida (4-0 ATS in league play). Against those four teams the Cougars were overwhelmed offensively as they shot no better than 37.5% from the field in any of those games. The Central Florida game is somewhat surprising since UCF is predicated on outscoring opponents rather than defense which fits right into Houston’s up-tempo style (lead AAC with 69.1 possessions per game). Tonight presents an extreme drop in all-around opposing class and Kelvin Sampson’s squad should advantage.  East Carolina has had a softer league slate thus far with Cincinnati being the only upper-tier team they’ve played and yet their numbers are mirror images of Houston’s. For the Cougars, battling front court size has been a problem but ECU does not possess an interior Read more

Tags: College Basketball Houston Cougars East Carolina Pirates Rob Veno

College Basketball Betting: Xavier says change coming after poor defensive effort

01.14.2015     07:26 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Xavier remains a tough nut to crack for bettors. The offense is potent but you have no idea what to expect from this squad defensively. They held Georgetown and Seton Hall to under 59 points but allowed 88 to Butler last time out. Head coach Chris Mack has voiced his frustration on multiple occasions and heading into tonight's game at Villanova, Mack claims there will be some change to his team's rotation.

"I think we definitely have to have changes, whether that's s lineup changes, whether that's during the course of rotations," Mack said. "We can't be happy with the results we're getting and expect different results by (doing the same thing). If it means different starters, different subs, I really don't care. The bottom line is that we need to win games."

"If a guy isn't playing with the energy required and toughness required to win at this level then I'm playing the wrong guys, or playing them too long," Mack said.

Tags: College Basketball Xavier Musketeers Villanova Wildcats

College Basketball Gambling: San Jose State quietly one of the worst teams in the country

01.14.2015     07:00 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The San Jose State Spartans probably aren't on the radar of many bettors but they should be. The program is an absolute mess with a roster that currently features eight healthy players. Suspensions, injuries, and kids kicked off the team have highlighted their 0-14 record vs. DI opponents. Last time out against UNLV, the Spartans could muster only 40 points in a 34-point loss. They've covered only three games, two of which came in November. Oddsmakers and the betting markets have to some degree picked up on SJSU's shortcomings. Tonight's opponent, Fresno State, has been a road favorite once this season; -2.5 at Northern Arizona. They lost that game by 21 but are laying -12 at San Jose tonight.

Tags: College Basketball San Jose State Spartans Fresno State Bulldogs

College Basketball Handicapping: Iowa State hopes to figure out Baylor's zone

01.14.2015     06:24 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Iowa State talks about facing Baylor's funky 1-3-1 zone tonight in Waco. The Bears are allowing 52.7 ppg at home as well as 27.3% from three on the season. Last year, the two teams faced three times with the Cyclones winning two of those contests. In Ames, ISU got the pace going (148 possessions) and rolled to an 87-72 victory. In Waco, the Bears controlled tempo (124 possessions) and won 74-61. And in the Big XII Tournament, ISU prevailed 74-65 (126 possessions).

“They play a defense that nobody else in the country plays that can’t be simulated,” ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It’s about these next couple of days, putting something in place. Hopefully, we can play well against that zone.”

“With Baylor’s zone, it’s just different,” Hoiberg said, “and it’s hard to (tell) your guys, ‘OK, this is exactly how Baylor plays it’ because … you never work on it. We’ll try to simulate it as best we can but there’s going to be some adjustment (in the

Read more

Tags: College Basketball Iowa State Cyclones Baylor Bears


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